Contribution from Leslie Y April 2016
I know it’s hard; we are at 7 months now, still on a modified TED diet, but medication free & happy pretty much 24/7. You will get there & your efforts & sacrifices are worth it!
so many LC & pediatricians either don’t check for ties or they don’t know how to diagnose/address them… Sometimes they don’t impact things, other times mamas just battle through with reflux & oversupply not realizing the connection (as I didwith my first LO…they’re hereditary). If I were you I’d try to find an advocate that agrees with the tie diagnosis and can help you make an informed decision about whether revision is warranted. Some CSTs can do work to help baby accommodate/work around the tie when nursing, but you really need someone very familiar with that modality.
It normally takes about 7 days for an offending food to leave your system, so I’d give it a few days to see if you can re-baseline [when you’ve hit a mucous poop after baseline]
Red vs. sweet potatoes are definitely different. My little guy reacted to both initially. I have only recently been able to add back in white potatoes.
Personally, I’d try just cutting out grains [if you’re eating them] & see if that helps. Remember, once you can figure out that trigger, you’ll be able to add more back in (i.e. other proteins / fruits / veggies) that could work for breakfasts & to provide some variety. Brown rice was better for us than white, but even now I have to keep it pretty minimal. If potatoes are safe, that will at least give you some carbs. You’ll probably know within 24-48 hours if that made a difference. If you do want to go with Quinoa, there is a hot cereal you could try. I’ve seen it at Whole Foods. What veggies are you eating? Have you tried another protein to see if perhaps it’s the turkey?
Take a probiotic? Sometimes it takes a little while for your system to re-adjust. Things like gluten & sugar never bothered me personally (or at least as far as I could tell), but the adjustment to TED definitely caused some digestive discomfort and balancing out. Check your probiotic, as many are cultured on dairy, so that may be an issue if you’re cutting out dairy.
Vitamins & supplements can definitely have allergens in them and/or cause intolerances. I had to cut out even my food-based supplements for a time because we had reactions to some of the fruits/veggies that the nutrients were coming from!
Your baby will actually still get the nutrients they need from your body’s stores. I have some additional research on this that I’ll try to find for you. This is a temporary measure to get to a baseline. That said, I’ve been on a restrictive TED, with no additional supplementation, for a number of months & recently had extensive bloodwork done for an annual physical, with no concerning levels other than Vitamin D being low, which I’ve had on and off throughout my adult life.
Keep notes re: any correlation between when you take your enzymes & diapers and/or flares? I started keeping track of everything that went into his system and my system (meds/vitamins included) to see if perhaps anything *other* than food was triggering flares.
The items lower on this list [link below] are less likely to be irritants or intolerances. Our TED ended up not being the traditional one as my little guy couldn’t do turkey or squash.
Check your brand of olive oil: google it to see if it’s pure, etc.
Dried Mangoes were my ‘sweet’… 😉 I ate them by the pound lol We did chicken, quinoa, pears, and carrots at first. Small quantities of brown rice were okay. We eventually ended up switching to deer meat instead of chicken, which he did better with. Organic/grass-fed meats were definitely better for him than conventional. We were able to add in almond milk, pumpkin, & mango. Potatoes came back to us eventually, as did small quantities of green veggies.
Whole Foods makes a brown rice crunchy cereal that is JUST rice…not all those extra ingredients in Rice Chex. Enjoy Life makes a line of cookies and snack bars that are Top 8 allergen-free.
p.s. I added these in recently…they’re very allergen friendly and I will eat them by the box (when I can afford to) lol
My little one usually has a pretty immediate (within 12 hours) reaction if I eat something that doesn’t agree with him! If you see it going back & forth a lot, you may want to do a food diary (if you’re not already) to try to identify the patterns over a few weeks.
We did better on chicken, but honestly had trouble with meat in general for a while. If your little one has an extreme reaction to soy or corn, eating animals that consume those as their feed may actually result in some irritation. Have you tried any white-fleshed, freshwater fish (i.e. catfish)? I’m doing deer meat that I got from a friend and that was really the first animal meat that he responded well too. There’s something to be said for wild game that isn’t fed a mass-produced feed wink emoticon Even organic chickens are fed soy. Have you tried carrots? Mushrooms? Trying to think of other veggies you might be able to add in soon. Did you try sweet potato? My baseline ended up being deer meat, quinoa, pear, & carrot. We failed turkey, both sweet & white potatoes, squash & rice. If you’re not hitting a baseline with that TED, you might want to switch things up. Again, watery poop or green poop could be caused by a myriad of issues but my understanding is that mucus is usually caused by a food protein intolerance.
Here is some helpful perspective on supplements & nutrients (taken from a TED mama in another group):
I was extremely concerned that my limited diet would affect my baby, so I made sure to specifically as her doctor, who assured me (more than once, since I kept asking, lol) that my body would make the milk exactly how the baby needed it. Even if you don’t eat fat, the baby will get fat from the stores in your body (this becomes more of an issue as you lose tons of weight on this diet and have very little fat left, but even at 98 lbs., my milk still has enough fat content in it to supply my 14-month LO with what she needs.) Calcium will be in the breastmilk–leeched from your bones. Vitamins will come from whatever stores you have. The biggiest problem is having enough of all of the vitamins, minerals, etc., for YOU. That is why you have to continue to take your vitamins and supplents. Most of all, though, when it comes to your limited diet, you want to make sure you are eating ENOUGH calories per day to not harm your milk supply. Since the whole point is to continue breastfeeding, it is extremely important to eat enough to sustain your production. So just drink plenty of water and eat MORE of your “safe” foods per day, so that you are getting enough calories. If you notice a drop in your supply, eat more and drink more water. (You can always start your gluten-free oats trial to help with supply, too. Steel-cut are the best for increasing supply. Also, fresh ginger steeped in hot water, as a “tea,” will help, too, and ginger is usually not a problem for babies. Alternating the foods that you use to increase or keep up your supply is key.
Supplements: First, it’s important to check your vitamins for hidden dairy, soy, corn, etc. I believe mine has soy or corn, but I didn’t even figure that out until a couple months into the TED, and obviously it wasn’t bothering her, so I never switched. But some people who continue to have problems on TED have later found out they were still consuming hidden allergens/intolerance foods in their vitamin and that could have been the cause of the problems. Ask around in this group for “safe” vitamins.
Calcium: This is going to be the biggest issue, obviously. Your vitamin won’t contain all the calcium you need per day, and as your body is leeching it from your bones to put in the breastmilk, you will need to really keep up on it. The problem is, according to my nutritionist, that your body cannot absorb all the calcium you need for a day at once. Only so much can be absorbed at one time. That is why your vitmains will usually only contain 15-30% of your daily recommended amount. So, you have to supplement more. But you can’t take the supplements at the same time as your vitamin, or it won’t all be absorbed by your body. So you have to take your vitamin at a separate time from your rice milk or milk alternative, drink the milk alternative a few times throughout the day, or if you use calcium pill supplements, you have to spread them out throughout the day.
Vitamin D: Your body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium and to help your immune system. If your vitamin has plenty, great, but if it doesn’t, you will need to supplement it. Ask your doctor about what vitamin D supplement they recommend, if you aren’t already taking one.
Iron: Now here is the tricky part. According to my nutritionist, if taken together, iron and calcium “fight” each other for the “right” to be absorbed by the body. Only so much of one or the other will be absorbed at a time, and it’s impossible to know which one will win the fight for the day. So, iron supplements should be taken at a separate time from calcium supplents. But our vitamins usually contain both. frown emoticon So, if you feel you are iron-defficient, you might want to look into an iron supplement separate from your daily pre-or-post-natal vitamin. I actually get way more than I need in a day at this point, but I used to have to take a separate iron supplement. So, I would take my prenatal in the morning with my coffee, and my iron supplement at dinner with (pear) juice or water (not milk alternative, since the calcium could interfere.) I drank my rice milk at lunch and as a snack at night, separate from any calcium supplements or iron I was taking. There were some days that I didn’t get enough rice milk, so I took a separate calcium supplement (pill,) in the middle of the day, not at a meal time, with water. Juggling all the supplements seems difficult at first, but you soon get into a routine that works for you.
Protein: Protein is unfortunately not stored in the body. What you consume in one day is either used in that day or discarded as waste. So, you have to make sure you are getting enough per day to feed you and your LO. It’s not too difficult with TED, since meat is a main part of it, but you do have to keep track, just in case. The average lactating woman needs about 65-71g of protein per day.
If you are eating sweet potatoes, you are getting more than enough Vitamin A. Vitamin B12 can be an issue, I guess, but I never worried too much about it. Ask your doctor if you’re concerned. If you worry about Omega-3’s and the like, you can always add hemp protein powder early on in the diet, or hemp milk, and that will help (if your LO passes it.) Fish oil is good for this, too, I believe, but if you are taking fish oil, then you are obviously keeping fish in your diet, and that might be an issue–TED eliminates fish at first…so if you take fish oil supplements, you are not eliminating fish.
Here are some helpful meal suggestions from another TED mama that I found helpful as far as creative food options 😉
1. We started with chicken, turkey, sweet potato and potato, yellow squash and zucchini, extra virgin olive oil (gotta find the “safe” ones, though!) and Asian pears (they are the mildest pears, but harder to find this time of year, so regular pears might have to do.) I started with chicken even though I wasn’t supposed to because it is easier to make and cheaper than lamb and more functional than turkey. But I used both white meat turkey and chicken. If you start with these foods and find your LO is still reacting, eliminate the chicken and maybe even olive oil (or switch to a different brand) and zucchini, just in case. (Although if you eliminate Olive Oil you are going to have to find a “safe” fat!)
**Make sure you get your baby to where they are no longer having symptoms before adding any more foods. Eliminate rice for a while if they are still having trouble after eliminating chicken (and going to lamb or turkey) and any extra veggies you might have tried (such as the zucchini.) Pears could possibly be too acidic for some very sensitive babies, too. If you have to eliminate rice, try quinoa. However, wait at least a couple of weeks before you decide it’s not working and start eliminating even more. Sometimes it takes a while to see results or for their guts to heal and start functioning properly again!**
2. I realized she was reacting to white potato, and switched to only sweet potato. I then added mushrooms so I could sautee my squash,zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil with kosher salt and black pepper. (It was a dumb food to add first, but it made me feel happy at the time. At least it has some vitamins!)
3. Rice means you can have rice milk, rice cakes, rice flour, rice noodles and rice crackers, if you can find them. Check the labels–most of those things come in a version that is nothing but rice and water. (Rice crackers taste better than plain rice cakes, which are pretty horrible.)
4. You can cut your meat and add it to your sauteed veggies or grill it or bake it or cook it in a pan or on the griddle. I buy the petite sweets sweet potatoes in a microwavable bag from Walmart for my sweet potatoes and then cook them all at once so I just have to reheat them in the microwave. Before I found those, I used the microwavable single sweet potatoes. I also buy the “crinkle cut” sweet potatoes in the bag (also at Walmart, in the produce section) and cook them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper to make “sweet potato fries.” They are soggy/mushy, but decent. After the initial few weeks, I also bought the pre-cut bag of butternut squash that was microwavable and ate it with salt and pepper.
5. Broil or grill chicken breasts with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. Get the “tenders” if you can afford them for a special treat–coat them in rice flour and spray with 100% olive oil spray (check your labels!) and cook them on a pan in the oven. Make soup by boiling your chicken for a while and then adding squash (and mushrooms if you can) and rice or rice noodles. (As you add more veggies to your diet, they can easily be added, too.) Soup is a nice change every now and then.
6. Add carrots next. Some babies might have issues with them, but from what I understand they are low acid and usually don’t cause problems. Then you can have baby carrots to snack on while on the go (which you will find becomes an issue with this diet. Rice Chex and rice crackers can really help with this problem, too.)
7. Be careful not to overdo the olive oil if you baby has reflux–extra fat can be a reflux trigger. You need fat in your diet, though, so don’t cut it completely. Try to find a “safe” butter substitute. We went with SmartBalance Olive Oil Spread but I later realized I started picking up the wrong tub at the store and it has pea protein and soybean oil in it. frown emoticon Thankfully when she was younger and more sensitive, I used very little (on my baked sweet potatoes only) so it didn’t seem to affect her. Now she can have it just fine even though she can’t have peas (she is OK with soy oil.) I don’t know if there is another alternative, but if you can find one, that would be awesome. (The soy free Earth Balance has corn and pea protein, so that MIGHT work for some.) Otherwise, use a little olive oil and then salt and pepper for flavor.
8. Add gluten-free oats as soon as possible. This will help with your milk supply. (If LO reacts, eliminate.) Otherwise, add 100% maple syrup because it’s so much better with syrup. wink emoticon
9. Try Rice Chex cereal if your LO is Ok with rice. The mixed tocopherols is derived from corn, though, so if LO reacts, it could be from the corn (just something to keep in mind before adding corn!) Put maple syrup on your cereal!
10. Jennie-O makes a ground turkey with nothing added but rosemary exract. It comes in a tube and you can make turkey burgers with it. Once you have gluten-free oats and/or Rice Chex, you can make meatballs and meatloaf! (Use pear sauce as a binding agent instead of egg.)
11. Gravy is easily made with homemade chicken broth, rice flour and olive oil. Salt and Pepper for flavor. wink emoticon
12. Eat your rice alone or add all your other foods to it like a “stir fry.” Use chicken broth, salt and pepper to flavor.
13. Precook a ton of rice so you don’t have to cook it as often. Use it cold with rice milk (and maple syrup) as a snack or breakfast.
**I buy these specialty foods I listed at Walmart and HyVee (rice crackers, rice noodles, 100% olive oil spray, etc.) in the health food section. Many people say Whole Foods is a good place for some of this stuff.**
The next foods I (successfully) added: Watermelon, Al Fresco Chicken Sausages (Italian style, no casing at first, and ONLY one every couple of days,) small amounts of white potato (once every few days,) nutritional yeast (great sprinkled on chicken or in gravy or on rice,) tilapia, lettuce, eggplant, pork chops (lean,) cucumber (small amounts,) gluten/wheat, ascorbic acid (in baby pear juice to drink,) hemp protein powder, chia seeds, vanilla, honey, apples. We can have a multi-grain bread from the freezer section at Target and Tortillaland refrigerated tortillas, as well as Hormel Natural Choice Deli Turkey.
I avoided most of the top 8 (except fish) for the longest period of time, trying to add fruits and veggies, but had trouble with almost all of them (fruits were too acidic and veggies made us really gassy.) Avocado is supposed to be great, but she reacted to it (and bananas.) I would try them, though, because they are great additions. I eventually went to regular oats instead of gluten-free to trial gluten. Then we went to homemade bread with whole wheat flour. Thankfully she passed wheat/gluten and tree nuts so we can now have (specialty or homemade) bread and Almond milk and almond creamer and cashew milk ice cream (vanilla.) These are the kinds of foods that really come down to each individual and their sensitivities, though. We failed coconut, but many can do coconut and I know that is also very helpful with this crazy diet. I also STILL avoid most common reflux triggers–tomatoes, onions, garlic, acids (vinegar, citric acid, most fruits,) and tea. I never gave up my one cup of coffee per day. If she had continued to do poorly, I would have, but she seemed OK with it once she was on reflux meds.
It is overwhelming & it’s hard when they’re little because they don’t understand what’s happening and they can’t tell you what does/doesn’t make things worse. On top of that, as far as eating goes, because sometimes reactions are nearly real-time and sometimes it can take time to see them, it makes for such guess-work! With my diet, I tried to focus on alkaline foods, lots of chamomile tea, etc… As I mentioned in the thread above, CST helped us a lot. I sent you a PM with some other thoughts along that line. You are doing all the right things. Keep a food diary, if you’re not already, to try to see patterns in what you’re eating and how he’s reacting. I even cut out meat entirely for a few weeks to see if it helped us…so many veggie burgers! (bleh) We tried supplementing with Zinc, which has helped some LOs. We did digestive enzymes. We did aloe & slippery elm extract. We did l.reuteri probiotics. My husband called our little guy Baby Walgreens because I would send him out to buy every possible gripe water or colic relief product known to man. In the end, it was slow but sure progress. Even once you’re doing the right things, it takes time for the gut to heal. Try to understand his key food triggers & ensure you know hidden/uncommon sources for them (this is important for things like dairy, soy, & corn). Try to avoid inflammatory foods or additives (i.e. adding sugar or sweetener to things). Be careful about your supplements, if you’re taking any. I spent the first 3 months of my little guy’s life literally holding him 24 hours a day (minus brief bathroom breaks). He wouldn’t sleep otherwise. He wouldn’t even let his dad hold him while he slept. He didn’t feel good & he wanted mama. It was utterly exhausting. It was frustrating & discouraging. But I was diligent in trying everything I could for him. I made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, & a trip to Florida on a strict TED. We did the revision, we consulted with lactation specialists & did mouth stretches and suck training to help with his nursing. I stopped pumping to ensure I didn’t have an oversupply. We just kept doing it ALL… About 2-3 weeks after his revision, he played on his playmat for 40 minutes while my husband and I watched a show on TV. It was amazing. Then he started napping better. Then he let me lie him in his crib at night. His diapers were more consistent, he wasn’t pooping 5 times a day. He was settled & relaxed when nursing. He eventually turned into a very, very happy & content baby. It’s not over yet, I still dream about cheesecake and it didn’t happen overnight for us, but we saw progress. I will pray that you will be encouraged by positive progress & that you’ll be able to, in spite of your worry & exhaustion with all of this, be able to recognize that progress! Sorry for the ridiculously long post…to summarize <<hugs to you mama>>